Sunday, September 10, 2006

Citation may avoid plagiarism, but there can be other problems

In the previous post [IPBiz 1960], I mentioned some issues in improper attribution, even when a cite is present.

The September 1, 2006 issue of Science has a variation on this: the use of review articles to present data that isn't in the primary literature. Thus, even though one has a cite for a proposition (the review article), there is no presentation of actual data for the proposition.


Propagation of Errors in Review Articles, Thomas J. Katz, Dept of Chemistry, Columbia University [IPBiz: recall the role Columbia University in the Rogerio Lobo incident about prayer. recall also the problem in the Dept of Chemistry with the Sezen Sames incident.]

...journals are sometimes reluctant to publicize mistakes (3). The fact is that science does not always self-correct; it has to be corrected.

Ref (3) is J. Couzin, Science 312, 38 (2006)

Katz is complaining about C.P. Casey, J. Chem. Ed., 83, 192 (2006) and citing himself in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 44, 3010 (2005).

At SSI-11, I gave an example of an article in the journal Energy & Fuels (a publication of the American Chemical Society) wherein the authors had cited to a non-existent journal. Even after recognizing this truth, the editor refused to correct the mistake.

The third paper on patent grant rate by Quillen and Webster in Fed Cir Bar Journal, purportedly confirming numbers in the previous two papers, offers a different twist.

For a discussion of flagrant plagiarism (ie, reproduce an article word-for-word but remove the name of the true author and substitute someone else), look

Two other papers of relevance in the Sept 1 issue of Science:


J.A. Gladysz, Fluorous to the core, 313 Science 1249

Thus, in constrast to the inaccessible interiors of large fullerenes
[IPBiz: recall all those studies on "endohedral" fullerenes, including studies on drugs included in fullerenes.]

this initial study is certain to be followed by many exciting discoveries
[IPBiz: recall the language of Moses Gomberg on hexaphenyl ethane.]


Letter, Why Academic Drug Discovery Makes Sense, 313 Science 1235

rising costs of industrial drug discovery are largely associated with failed paradigms

there is no willingness to reinvigorate cheaper off-patent versions of approved medications for common diseases

by Alan P. Kozikowski

[IPBiz post 1961]


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

Note also my "letter to the editor" which appears at 88 JPTOS 726, concerning an article at 88 JPTOS 426, which letter includes the text:

Beyond the details of the patent grant rate issue, one notes the irony of someone discussing a lack of "quality" at the USPTO, while in turn relying on papers and reasoning manifesting a lack of quality, and separately not citing all pertinent prior art in the area.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

californiastemcellreport stated, in the context of open access to stem cell work:

As for the hiring practices at places like UC, changing realities will force some adjustments. Cheap sorting mechanisms such as counting the number of articles a scholar has published in a handful of journals are probably somewhat inappropriate any way. It is time to build a better model for finding good minds.

The issue is NOT counting the number of articles published. The issue IS getting published in a high impact journal, and then counting the number of citations. Academic hiring committees can't tell a good researcher from a bad one, and rely on the opinions of others (e.g., citations) to make their opinion for them. Google works in a similar way through PageRank. It is perception, not reality; proxy not substance.

Cheap sorting mechanisms rule.

10:36 AM  

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